DuClaw Brewing Co.

September 9, 2008

I’m in Maryland for training and for a Writers’ Workshop, and for dinner tonight went to DuClaw Brewing Company in Bowie. Nice brew pub, good atmosphere, good beer, and good food. Definitely worth visiting.

I ordered their sampler, which I initially read as five short glasses (about 5-6 oz each by looking at them) but they gave me nine! I missed the “five plus other seasonals we have on tap” part. I took some brief notes that I’ll share below. I’d write more but I’m quite tired after a full day of training and work catch-up.

(Yes, that’s me with the nine-beer sampler. I and everyone at my table was shocked at the amount of beer set before me upon a simple order of “I’ll have the sampler”.)

Hellrazer

Raise Hell.
From the first sip this American-style India Pale Ale gets in your face with an unruly hop bitterness, big floral flavors and aroma, and just enough malt character to keep you from giving in and acting up.
Light Amber Beer
Style: American-Style Pale Ale
Color: Light Amber
Hop Variety: Galena, Cascade
Grains: Pale Malt, Cara-Pils, Cara-Red
Bitterness: 48 BU’s
Gravity: 15 plato
Alcohol Content: 6.2% abv

Quick notes: very hoppy, tasty but dry

Misfit Red

Belong.
This medium bodied amber ale has a smooth, malt character with a hint of roasted (dark) malt flavor. This beer has just enough hops to balance and goes well with many foods.
Amber Beer
Style: Amber Ale
Color: Amber
Hop Variety: Tettenang, Hallertau
Grains: Pale malt, Wheat malt, Carpils malt, Roated barley
Bitterness: 23 BU’s
Gravity: 12.5 plato
Alcohol Content: 5.1% abv

Quick notes: outstanding, a fine red

Consecration

Sin-toxicating
One sip of this medium bodied hoppy American brown ale and you will dedicate your soul to its pursuit. Sweet and rich malt flavor with notes of chocolate, caramel and nuts, are balanced by an equally intense hop prescence, a citrusy aroma and a 5.5% abv. Blessed be this ale.
Brown Beer
Style: American Brown Ale
Color: Brown
Hop Variety: Amarillo, Cascade
Grains: Pale malt, Dark Crystal malt
Bitterness: 25 BU’s
Gravity: 13.3 plato
Alcohol Content: 5.5% abv

Quick notes: dark amber, malty and bitter with no nose. Odd.

Blackout

Paint it Black.
Succumb to this dark, medium bodied German-style dark lager’s smooth roasted flavors and light hoppy bitterness. Don’t worry, you’ll remember everything the next morning.
Dark Brown Beer
Style: Schwarzbier (Black Beer)
Color: Dark Brown
Hop Variety: Hallertau, Tettnang
Grains: Munich Malt, Carafa, Cara Aroma
Bitterness: 29 BU’s
Gravity: 12.5 plato
Alcohol Content: 5% abv

Quick notes: dark malty citrus yum!

Alchemy

Transform
Conjuring forgotten lost arts, our Brewmaster has infused flaked oats and malted barley to create this mystical, inky-black elixir that transforms one’s soul and spirit. Its silky smoothness will imbue the drinker with great vigor and delight as it flows through the veins. So what are you waiting for, give in and try a little bit of our sorcery.
Black Beer
Style: Oatmeal Stout
Color: Black
Hop Variety: Goldings
Grains: Pale malt, Flaked oats, Chocolate Wheat malt, Crystal malt
Bitterness: 25 BU’s
Gravity: 14.5 plato
Alcohol Content: 5.5% abv

Quick notes: good, tart citrus. Chalky though.

Kangaroo Love

Shag a Stubby.
Blending a crisp, light body and full malt flavor with a smooth satisfying finish no bloke or sheila can resist, the aboriginal taste of this Australian lager will keep you and your cobbers grabbing for a coldie.
Light Golden Beer
Style: Australian Lager
Color: Light Golden
Hop Variety: Pride of Ringwood
Grains: Pilsen Malt, Wheat Malt
Bitterness: 13 BU’s
Gravity: 11.5 plato
Alcohol Content: 4.7% abv

Quick notes: ok, light like Bud Light but tastier

Sawtooth

Unleash the Legend.
This untamed, unfiltered, unbridled mix of wheat, oat and barley malts has made its way home. Now, with its blend of Curacao orange peel, coriander and Belgian yeast, this legendary Belgian White is ready to bite again with bone-chilling refreshment.
Cloudy Golden Beer
Style: Belgian White Ale
Color: Cloudy Golden
Hop Variety: Hallertau
Grains: Pale Malt, Wheat Malt, Flaked Wheat, Flaked Oats
Bitterness: 16 BU’s
Gravity: 12 plato
Alcohol Content: 4.8% abv

Quick notes: very good, crisp, citrus with light banana nose

Bare Ass Blonde

The naked truth.
This handcrafted brew is our most popular beer. Could it be the mild hop character and smooth drinkability that brings people back? The light color and medium body? The name?
Golden Beer
Style: Blonde Ale
Color: Golden
Hop Variety: Fuggle, Goldings
Grains: Pale malt, Wheat malt, Carapils malt
Bitterness: 19 BU’s
Gravity: 12.5 plato
Alcohol Content: 5% abv

Quick notes: so so, typical

Mysterium

Get a clue.
This golden Belgian ale will mystify you with its medium body, its subtle malt and hop profiles, and its complex blend of spices. Fruit flavors, produced by a special strain of Belgian yeast, combine with Belgian candied sugar, chamomile, grains of paradise, and cardamom to create an unfiltered ale so intriguiging, you’ll never want to get to the bottom of the mystery … or your glass.
Golden Beer
Style: Belgian-Style Spiced Ale
Color: Golden
Hop Variety: Hallertau
Grains: Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Rye Malt
Bitterness: 21 BU’s
Gravity: 11 plato
Alcohol Content: 4.8% abv

Quick notes: odd, thin, meh I’ve had better Belgian style ales but was worth finishing

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A visit to Cooperstown NY

August 12, 2007

Today a couple of good friends and I took a day trip to Cooperstown NY. Although the Baseball Hall of Fame is located there, and though we drove right by it, that was not the reason for our visit. No, our quest was far more noble. We went for the beer.

There are two very good breweries located in the Cooperstown area. One is Cooperstown Brewing, located just outside Cooperstown in Milford in a very nondescript cement and glass block building. The other is Brewery Ommegang located in the very outskirts of Cooperstown on an old hop farm in a traditional-design Belgian farmhouse. Both are fantastic breweries and create some very tasty beer.

Of the two, Cooperstown Brewing has a far more informative tour. They are very much a down to earth company and really try to educate you on the beer making process. Ommegang’s tour was a little flat, and though they also provided information about the process, the tour was much less interactive. Of course at the end of the tour are the tastings, and both breweries provided us with an ample supply of very tasty suds.

Even if you’re not a beer-lover, I think you’ll appreciate spending the day out there. The scenery is breathtaking (rolling wooded hills and farmland), and you can say hi to Cooperstown’s newest faithful guardians, Hops and Barley, two cute little kittens at Cooperstown Brewing. And don’t forget the souvenirs such as glassware, t-shirts, ball caps, and all sorts of other goodies at either location, with an extra nod to Ommegang’s shop for having interesting foodstuffs, cookbooks and other beer-related books, and of course Belgian chocolates.

Of course I loaded up on beer and various other swag (how can you not?), and my car was actually quite weighted down from everything the three of us purchased. Note to economy car owners: If traveling back to the Albany area, the uphill stretch back is quite difficult for a four-cylinder to manage when carrying three grown adults and a trunk full of beer and other loot.

For dinner we were recommended the Hawkeye Bar and Grill, located in the Otesaga Hotel and Resort. Although a little pricier than what we were expecting/hoping for, the food was amazing, the service was top-notch, and the hotel is right on the lake. We ate out on the patio, which had an absolutely beautiful view. My peppered ahi tuna loin was delicious, and my friends enjoyed a very well prepared honey and lavender chicken breast and the juiciest, most tender NY sirloin strip I’ve seen in years.

We had a great trip, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to see a bit more of New York than The City.